The following is a letter written to anti-national ID activist Jackie Juntti and reprinted with the sender's permission. U.S. airlines, under F.A.A guidelines, now require government-issued photo ID before allowing customers to board airplanes. This letter is the story of one of the many who are now saying, "No," to that little act of tyranny.
Hello Ms. Juntti,
I wrote to you several months ago for more information concerning traveling
without showing any Government Issued ID (GID).
Well I have just returned from my trip. To say that it was an experience
is an understatment!
My boss and I were traveling from College Station, Texas to Salt Lake City,
Utah for a molecular biology conference on American Airlines.
We got the the College Station airport, and I was asked for my GID. I told
the agent I couldn't show him my GID and quoted Security Directive 96-05
[SD96-5] (or whatever). To my suprise, he said, "No problem, but I will
have to put you on my Security List." I said that would be fine. He didn't
check my bags, or put any orange stickers on my thing. In
fact, I never even spoke to him again. I thought, "Boy, that was EASY!".
Well, as it turned out, our flight was oversold, so we had to wait 2 hours
for the next plane. This messed up our connecting flight
at DFW, so we had to fly to DFW to catch a flight to Denver before we would
get to Salt Lake City. Our ticket in Denver was also switched to United
Airlines since American does not fly from Denver to SLC. Well, I thought,
"At least I will get to see the incredible waste of my Tax Dollars that is
Denver International Airport."
My boss and I finally get to our counter [B19 for those interested in
saying Hi to all the GREAT people there ;) ]
Well, I try my thing again. I tell Larry (the ticket guy) that I can't
show him my GID, SD96-5, yada, yada, yada. He looks at me over the rim of
his glasses (I just HATE that) and very politely asks me to sit down
and wait just a few minutes. He places a call, and I hear him say my name
a few times. About ten minutes later, I meet Tim. My boss and I also
notice that there seem to be several more well dressed men with
walkie-talkies than before standing around. I figure Tim has come to check
my bags and do the orange sticker thing. Tim proceeds to ask me a few
questions (where are we headed,etc...). He asks if I have any ID at all.
I say yes, and show him my credit card, Health insurance card, and gas card
(no pictures on any of them). He looks them all over, and then
gives them back to me and leaves. About two minutes later, he returns with
my APPROVED boarding pass with that little 'you have passed security'
stamps on it and everything. I think everything is going great at this
My boss and I successfully board the plane, stow our carry-ons, and get
comfortable for the flight to SLC. Right as we are about to leave, guess
who is standing next to us ON THE PLANE, TIM! He says that I will have
to get off the plane and come with him. I ask what this is all about. He
says, "We will discuss it off the plane." I ask again and he refuses to
tell me there. My boss then asks and gets the same response. I tell her
to go on the SLC, but she insists on getting off the plane with me. She
gets off first and I get her baggage and the get off the plane.
As I am leaving the plane. I make a little anouncement to everyone else on
the plane that I am not a terrorist and don't have any drugs or anything.
I am being taken off the plane because I have chosen to protest our system.
After we are off the plane. Tim still refused to answer any of our
questions except to say "We will discuss it." We are then escorted back to
the gate area as the plane leaves without us. Tim starts going on about
this little "experiment" that I have "pulled" and that it didn't work. I
say, "On the contrary, Tim, my little 'experiment' worked with flying
colors. I may not have gotten the result that I expected, but
the information that I gathered was very useful." This more important guy
named Dale shows up and asks to see my drivers liscence. Well, I know when
to quit, so I showed it to him. He says, "Well, it looks like Mr. Jagge
was telling the truth." Then to me he says, "None of this would have
happened had you shown the ID." To which I respond, "Sir, none of this
should have happened anyway."
To make a long story short, we all traded comments on freedom and liberty.
Then I was told point blank that United has the right to refuse service to
anyone (even though they may already be on the plane, and have passed the
gate successfully), and that I was not welcome on United.
Meanwhile, my boss has overheard everything. Did I point out that my boss
is from Argentina and lived under a tyrannical regime from 1976-1984? She
said the whole experience brought back bad memories for her.
Well, we eventually made it to SLC on Delta. The irony is that the lady at
the Delta counter did not even ask to see my GID.
It frightens me, though, that America 1998, home of the free and land of the
brave, resembled tyrannical Argentina 1976-1984 more than the country that
I thought I lived in.
LP county chair,
Brazos County, Texas
Note from CW: In an exchange of messages with me, when I asked his permission to reprint the above letter, Mr. Jagge added, "...my boss...lived under a military dictator for 8 years and experienced more drastic but similar
situations. She even had to show her government-issued ID just to get
into her college classes. I had told her that I was going to challenge
the ID rules before we left. She told me that when she becomes a
citizen, she might just do the same thing. She got off the plane
because she was truely afraid something might happen to me. She
remembers when Argentine citizens disappeared for doing what I did."
(c)1998 by Christopher Jagge